By Will Vandervort
Both defensive coordinator Brent Venables and offensive coordinator Chad Morris have been pleased with what they have seen the first two days of fall camp at Clemson. However, they also understand it is just the first two days.
“There are no pads right now, either. Everybody is an All-American when it is 72 (degrees) and partly cloudy,” said Morris following Saturday’s practice. “It’s a little different. We will see when the pads come on in a little bit.”
The Tigers will take Sunday off before returning to practice on Monday evening. The first day of full pads will be Wednesday.
As for right now, it is what it is. They are just trying to get things done.
“We will see how things look when we put the pads on,” Venables said. “I have liked the carry over (from the spring). We have a bunch of new faces as well. But we have a lot of experience in that front seven and it has shown as far as the tempo we have practiced with and the pad level.”
Venables says no one has really impressed him just yet.
“Nobody has been really great, but no one has been awfully bad, either,” he said. “They are just a bunch of guys trying to figure their way through things right now.”
Hurry-up offense. Morris says he is staying true to form and will have all the installation for his offense done when practice is over on Monday. The Clemson coach said earlier in the week he wanted to get everything installed in the first three days of camp.
“We are loading them down,” he said. “We are taxing them as hard as we can tax them right now. We have our foot square up their tail. I’m telling you, we are not letting up.
“We have one more full day Monday of installation and pretty much 90 percent of the offense will be in and we will repeat everything at that point. They have a lot on them. And they should. A lot of them are three-year starters so let’s see what they can do.”
Andre Ellington is back? Morris said he had to do a double take when he saw No. 23 on the sideline prior to Friday’s first practice of camp.
“When I saw No. 23 out there, I thought to myself, ‘I know Andre is not here,’” the Clemson coach said. “He is a bigger and bulkier Andre. That’s what he looks like.”
Of course Morris is talking about freshman running back Tyshon Dye, who will be wearing the No. 23 jersey this fall. Andre Ellington is at the Arizona Cardinals camp this summer.
“He is doing some good things, but he is lost as a goose,” Morris said about Dye. “But, he isn’t the only one and that is okay. He is going to be okay.”
Attention getters. Freshmen receivers Mike Williams and T.J. Green continue to impress the coaches.
Though Green is rugged and doesn’t know the offense, yet, Morris likes what he has seen from the 6-foot-2, 190-pound athlete so far. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney bragged about Williams on Friday and Morris backed that up after practice Saturday.
“I like those two guys,” Morris said. “I think those two guys have something to them. Mike Williams has made two or three really good plays in camp that will make you go, ‘Wow! That guy looks a little like No. 6 out there.’ He is going up and making some plays.
“They are a long way away, but those are two good guys that we are really excited about.”
Williams wears the No. 7 jersey, in case you’re wondering.
Injuries. Three players were held out of practice Saturday. Offensive guard Spencer Region continues to recover from hip surgery he had on April 17, but wide receiver Adam Humphries missed practice with a pulled hamstring as did cornerback Mackensie Alexander, who missed practice with a pulled groin.
Williams suffered a pulled groin during practice and missed some work.